This article is taken from the Unicorn Blog as it was a guest column piece by Devachess’s founder Ms. Devanshi Rathi. Devachess would like to take this opportunity to thank the Unicorn Project for their support in making the article get published on their blog!
This month’s guest blogger is one of the outstanding young leaders I had the pleasure of meeting last year! Devanshi Rathi is a 2018 Queen’s Young Leader Highly Commended Runner Up from India. She gained this recognition through her work with underprivileged young people and more recently teaching blind people how to play the intricate game of chess! Because I know her love for the sport, I was not surprised that her was chess related!
To me, this one quote defines the very essence of the mind sport that I have been competing in for the longest time that I could remember in my life. The basic feature of the game, that it is an ocean where anybody can swim, gives one motivation to compete at one’s best level whether playing a solid titled player or an amateur. Taking one’s life as an example, one should believe that our life is essentially the same. It’s depth and length can be defined by how much we achieve. However, this achievement often gets so strong in our mindsets that we forget the primary focus of our lives. So, in an ocean called life we must remember to be happy and healthy at all times, whether it be while we are on the ‘winning’ side or on the ‘losing’ end.
Achievement is a word that cannot be simply defined, and we must understand the same. What we should aim to go at is not to achieve things, but to simply learn and grow.
The recent popularity of a growth mindset, famed by Professor Carol Dweck’s theories, has been seen to have affected a number of the so-called high level ‘achievers’ in any field. These personalities have not run after achieving things. Instead, they have focused their energy and efforts on improving each and every part of their body, mind, soul, and ultimately their lives that has impacted their supposed success. In chess, a fixed mindset can lead to temporary gains, but in order to conquer the opponent’s king, one must let go of any ‘fixed’ strategies and keep improvising as the positions develop steadily.
We’ve always thought chess to be a philosophical game, as can also be seen through the quotes above. However, we must understand that these philosophies, if applied in our own daily lives, can have a positive change for our well-being. Ultimately, the main goal in our life should be to attain our true stand, as learnt in the Hindu-Vedanta philosophy. It’s not about what others think of us, or even about what we ought ourselves to be positioned at. It’s more to do with our utmost sense of belonging with the earth and where we really find ourselves. This path finding has definitely got less to do with an ‘ordinary’ man’s dream of obtaining monetary gains and riches. Similarly, in chess, temporary material victories have no meaning if one cannot find one’s ultimate route of defeating the opponent’s king. One has to search for the most optimal way to reach the ‘enemy’s’ territory, and once this stage has been reached, it’s that of true nirvana.
Life and chess have many overlaps and similarities. It is up to us to understand and learn from these lessons. After all, in chess, there are a million possibilities, that’s why no game is absolutely the same. However, that being said, the player has to have the vision to see what’s best for himself or herself. Finally, our journey is our own and we shouldn’t waste it by thinking about what we could have done differently or what could have been the best for us.
As it’s said in chess, “If you find a move, look for a better one.”
Thus, if we find our supposedly true move in life, then we should go searching for a better one or that one that will lead us to our stage of ultimate nirvana or peace.
Time flies and waits for none. Well, what a cliché to start off this post with. However, the fact of the matter is that it is true. Time really doesn’t wait for anyone. In case of Devachess, seven years have passed by, and we didn’t even realise. What started as a small seed of chess knowledge has now grown into an award winning blog. Devachess is thankful to all its readers and supporters for their acknowledgements and aims to accomplish even greater heights as it progresses in its mission to make an impact in the dynamic world of chess. Devachess urges you to continue with your passioned encouragement for our work. Stay tuned for future updates on Devachess!
January marked the period of two strong tournaments in the world chess circuit- namely, the Tata Steel Chess and the Gibraltar Masters. What separated the two events was their format. The Tata Steel Masters in Wikj ann Zee, Netherlands was played in three groups, the A group being the most prestigious and closed super-GM tournament meant only for the special invitees (obviously, the world’s top ten or twenty and a couple of qualifiers). On the other hand the Gibraltar Masters was an open section Grandmaster tournament with three categories according to rating levels. The Tata Steel has been known to be one of the strongest closed super-GM events in the world, and many players long to get the exclusive chance to compete in this championship. (The challenger group opens up the chance for a spot at the Masters for the next year.) This year, the masters group was won by the World Champion Magnus Carlsen, winning a tournament of this prestige just two months after his world title capture. In a closely fought contest, Anish Giri bagged the second spot. For the Indian fans, it was a delight to watch Anand and Gujrathi play in the masters section. The most eventful episode, however, was Kramnik announcing his retirement. It came as a surprise to the entire chess world, also because he hadn’t performed as per his standards in this event. Now, Kramnik, the former world champion, is set to move on to other things in his life- for example, chess training and charitable causes. One can only wonder how the genius will make his next moves impact the world as they did on the chessboard.
As we talk about the Tata Steel, the Gibraltar Masters is the other big name event in the glitzing world of professional chess. Known as the Rock, the tournament attracts some of the world’s biggest names, who want to get out of the trap of only competing amongst the top elite for once and playing against the upcoming talent pool. This year, Nakamura and Aronian were the spotlights of the tournament. David Navara, D. Howell, and a couple of other powerful players also added diversity to the participants list. The championship is known for its glamour and excitement, with social contests like the Battle of the Sexes match, where the men play the women on a huge floor chess board. The surprise of the event was the ultimate winner, Artemiev Vladislav, who soared ahead of the super GMs Nakamura and Aronian, with a massive 8.5 points. Apparently, he walked to the game for forty-five minutes everyday. (Maybe, his secret recipe to success and bashing the myth that chess isn’t a physical sport.)
Now, as these two giant events come to a close for this year, all eyes are set on the recently announced Grand Chess Tour, 2019, which will feature the world’s elite and a few extra places added on to the tour’s list. The most exciting part, one of them is in India! Let’s rock and roll into the remaining year on the checkered squares and see what’s more in store for us. So, until next time, Hasta La Vista!
The Professional Rapid Online (PRO) kicked off in style on January 8th, 2019. This is the third season of the world’s greatest online league, which features the biggest chess personalities like Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri, Harikrishna Pentala, Fabiano Caruana, Vidit Gujrathi, and Wesley So, amongst others. In this edition, there will be bi-weekly matches for the spectators, replacing the all in a day format of the previous two editions. The time control will be the same as last time with 15 minutes plus two seconds increment on each move, played on chess.com’s server.
With the huge bonuses of weekly prizes, fantasy chess, and exciting games from your door-step, the league promises to be more fascinating than ever.
Devachess is proud to be associated with the Delhi Dynamite team for the third straight year, and we hope to do our best to bring you all the latest updates from the Dynamites and the league in general. Devachess wishes the best to all the 32 teams competing this season. Good luck to all! And of course, Go Dynamites!
November closed off with Magnus Carlsen retaining his World Championship title in the most dramatic fashion, overcoming Caruana in the tie-breaker convincingly after drawing all the twelve classical games.
As December approached, the world had something to rejoice about post the long World Championship. This was in terms of the last leg of the Grand Chess Tour- the London Chess Classic tournament. The Classic saw the participation of the top four players of the entire Grand Chess Tour season of 2018- Nakamura, Caruana (making another appearance right after the gruelling WC), MVL, and Aronian. The London Classic is in its very special year- completing a decade in the global chess arena. In its unique format, the tournament was won by Nakamura, who also won the Grand Chess Tour taking home a huge prize purse of $225,000 for winning the tour title. The classic also hosted numerous other events like the PRO biz cup, the FIDE Open, the weekend and weekday only events, and special events for children.
Chess fans now have one last tournament to watch out for before we close in to 2019. This is the recently announced World Rapid and Blitz Championships. With Carlsen and Anand back to retain their titles this year, it’s going to be some enriching performances that we can cherish as we say good-bye to 2018 and hello to 2019! So, until next time.
November, 2018 promises to be one of the most exciting months in this year’s chess scene. It started off with a bang through the PRO Chess League season three qualifiers on November 3rd, with eight teams making the cut for the 2019 edition.
Next up came the Women’s World Championship Knockout Tournament in Russia. This event runs until the very end of this month. The WWC is facing many upsets with a number of seeded players going down the drail, the most recent being our very own wonder lady Koneru Humpy, who lost in the tie-breaks of round two. It will be a nail-biting finish to the top in this event. One can only wait to see who emerges victorious.
Another big event that is happening for the first time is the Tata Steel Indian Chess Tournament in Kolkata. In a blitz and rapid format, this prestigious tournament will feature India’s top players including Anand and Harikrishna compete against players like Aronian and Karjakin amongst others. Indian youngsters Pragganananda and Nihal Sarin will be playing in one format each as well. Moreover, fans can come to watch the players live, a once in a lifetime experience to capture. This event would surely be going down in the history books of the country.
However, all this said, the biggest event is the World Championship Match in London between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana. One of the most exciting chess world championships ever, this match would be something to follow intensely. With such a close rating gap of 3 points between the two players, there is surely no easy path to pick a winner.
So, if you’re up for some exciting chess, don’t forget to tune into the two World championships live and follow the Tata Steel Indian Masters tournament. If you haven’t already caught up with the PRO Chess League qualifiers, do so by visiting the official website http://www.prochessleague.com!
The Indian teams at the Olympiad,2018 were the strongest ever in the history of the nation in the tournament. However, the teams missed out on the podium finish narrowly. What were the good points, and what were the fallacies? Read the following interviews on http://www.thebridge.in to find out more.
Soundarya Pradhan, a nineteen year old 100% visually challenged player from Odisha, won the silver medal at the World Juniors for the Blind in Poland in August,2018. This was the first time in the history of the country that a second place finish was achieved in this championship, the previous being a bronze by Darpan Inani in 2013.
Soundarya is a first year student at the prestigious National Institute of Technology(NIT) in Tata Nagar as well. He managed to balance his academics and chess quite well, also participating in the World Team Championship for the Blind a few weeks prior to the World Junior. When asked about his future plans, he said that he wants to become India’s first super 100% visually challenged Grandmaster and a renowned computer scientist. Setting these high goals, one cannot wait to see where he goes and how high he soars in the sky.
Devachess congratulates him for his brilliant achievement and wishes him the best for his future.